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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Caffeine and its Fat-Burning Potential

By: Alex Liska

With all the hype surrounding energy drinks and different sorts of pills and so on and so forth that give you energy, I decided to write about Caffeine, a "drug" that is so popular and known for its stimulant effects
Caffeine has got to be one of the least marketed yet most EFFECTIVE fat-burners available. Although it may not help you lose weight taken on its own, if taken in conjunction with exercise (ex. before aerobic exercise) it can increase fat-burning and even help you exercise for longer. The way caffeine works is by increasing the rate at which fatty acids are metabolized and by decreasing the rate of glucose metabolism during exercise. What i would take from this is that if you are ALREADY on a carb-reduced/clean diet the caffeine would immediately begin to work on those stored fats and start to mobilize and burn them. Therefore, whatever calories burned from your workout, more of those calories will come from fat if you have consumed caffeine before your workout.


Quick-Facts about Caffeine:
  • Lowers the perceived exertion of Exercise
  • Increases Alertness
  • Decreases Reaction Time
  • May help suppress appetite
  • Acts as a Fat-Burner
  • Increases Fat-Metabolism
I am not going to sit here and list all the reasons why caffeine SHOULD be consumed, especially since most people have been brainwashed by the news to think that caffeine causes all sorts of problems internally (bone density issues, restlessness at night, has too potent of a diuretic effect for some etc...). OK, so caffeine has a few notable side effects, but the fact that it keeps you up at night, i think is BASED ON THE INDIVIDUAL consuming it... I FIND that if i put a splash of cream in my coffee and STEVIA sweetener INSTEAD OF SUGAR, it doesn't matter if i have it before bed, I STILL FALL ASLEEP. My mother is the same way and so are a list of other people I have come across. The only negative side effect i have ever experienced with caffeine is when i consumed it with SUGAR or those flavored creamers/milks. I will be honest with you too, if i just sit and drink coffees at a desk and i am INACTIVE, i will feel a LITTLE bit wired. BUT! If i am active after having consumed it or i am just generally active throughout the day, it has no negative impact on my body at all. If your fear of caffeine comes from having seen on the news that it will deplete the calcium in your body, avoid prolonged high intake of it and consume more calcium altogether. After all, caffeine/coffee is NOT the only culprit in calcium-depletion!!! Other causes are just NOT mentioned because they would go against certain food guides and "known/embedded" ways of eating.
Some studies have shown that Caffeine can produce a slower heart rate, nervousness, irritability, hypertension and even gastrointestinal distress. HOWEVER, i would have to say i think these things may already be pre-existing conditions that are minimally present due to a poor diet, or a diet that could use some improvements, and then just further provoked by the consumption of caffeine.
Some NEW studies have shown that caffeine can boost performance in short-term athletic events too. In one case study, athletes took 6-9 mg. of caffeine per kg of body-mass and their exercise performance SIGNIFICANTLY improved during the first 500-meter portion of a "simulated rowing test".
I PERSONALLY like to have a coffee or a regular tea with a splash of cream in it and some Stevia prior to my cardio and i find that i go for much longer and i am more energized. After that i will have some whey (about 3/4 scoop) mixed in water, do some light stretching and then hit the weights. This routine is something that i have cycled in and out of my training programs for YEARS and EVERY TIME i go back to consuming caffeine before my cardio, it is MORE effective and over time i find that i burn MORE body-fat :)

If you feel that you would like to try caffeine as a fat-burner or simply for increased energy, I would suggest having it before your workout, first thing in the morning, or after a meal as a dessert. In all instances i have PERSONALLY experienced positive results. As you probably know by now, i would NEVER put sugar or honey or any carb-based sweetener in my coffee, I ONLY use Stevia (french vanilla flavored sometimes for variety) and a splash of cream. This is what works for me. Hopefully it works for you too!! :)
Before i forget, there ARE caffeine tablets on the market too, and i have a feeling after posting this article people are going to ask me what i think about those. I have tried them and i did not like how i felt after taking them. I like my caffeine to come from natural sources such as Coffee, Red-Rose/Earl Grey/White Tea and SOMETIMES Green Tea (I dont really like green tea, it's just a personal dislike...i know most people adore it and think it's the healthiest thing on the planet LOL). Another GREAT source of caffeine is YERBA MATE tea. It is a herbal tea that can give you almost the same stimulant effect as coffee!

Yours in Good Health,
 Alex L.

4 comments:

  1. I never would have guessed that caffeine had such a wonderful use. I really enjoyed reading your post.

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  2. well you have just inspired me to lose the few kilos i put on over winter.

    I fucking LOVE coffee anyway

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  3. :) Good luck w/ your weightloss goals!!!

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